It has been more than a month after the Erasmus Mundus pre-departure events in Jakarta, and it is 26 days left before my departure to Portugal. I am going to leave Indonesia on September 3rd, 2012 (can we say 2-year-studying-abroad as a “temporary living”? It is quite a long time though). In the meantime, I have got my visa already (zillion thanks to @yosay_aulia for taking my visa).
Back then when I was a Master’s-study scholarship hunter, honestly, I never thought about many things I am going to leave if I got accepted to go study abroad. The only thought I had was I have to get accepted in a scholarship for my Master’s study. I have to go to Europe. Yeah, that’s all. But then, here I am right now, reminiscing about many things to be left behind in Indonesia.
Firstly, I think of my parents and my siblings. I had moved back to Solo after my 4-year temporary living in Bandung for my undergrad study in ITB. This is my longest stay in Solo since elementary school. I spent my junior high school in a boarding school, and then I moved to Jakarta for my senior high school life, and then Bandung. I only went home for holidays but those were for several days.
This what-I-call-long-term-staying in Solo made me realize how lonely my parents were and will be. My older brother is currently studying Computer System in the Faculty of Engineering, Diponegoro University, Semarang and my youngest brother is in a boarding school. Luckily, my sister enrolls in Faculty of Medicine, Sebelas Maret University, which is located in Solo so there won’t be just my dad and mom after my leaving in September.
Secondly, I think of my friends and relatives. Europe is far from Indonesia, isn’t it? And the flight costs a lot. Though we were apart for chasing our dream since our graduation day, most of my friends live in Indonesia. Most of them have a job in Jakarta so if I go to Jakarta, it will be possible for me to meet them. But later on, there won’t be as many possibilities as before. Plus, the reality that I will miss many of my friends’ wedding day is equally important.
Then, the most important thing: Can I survive?
Aside from those hubbubs written above, I do feel very excited of this studying-abroad experience. No, not just excited, but I feel so ecstatically excited! My head has been filled in with lots of joyful excitements! Have you heard someone said, “Get lost, then you will find home”? I do believe that I will find new home, new families, new friends, etc without forgetting the ones I already had. As a result, I will have a bigger home, a bigger family, and a bigger circle of friends. Besides, the invention of Internet has made the world seems so small. There’s no such thing as THE distance. People are connected everywhere and every time. And my own answer for my own question above is: life has never been so easy, rite? that’s why life has never been so boring. I have to survive!
I’m not that good in describing the mixed feelings I have right now, so I want to quote my favorite excerpt from an article I found on the Internet:
“As we get older, life can just sort of happen to us. Whatever we end up doing, we often end up with more responsibilities, more burdens, and more obligations. This is not always bad. In fact, in many cases it is really good. It means you’re influencing people, leaving a legacy.
Youth is a time of total empowerment. You get to do what you want. As you mature and gain new responsibilities, you have to be very intentional about making sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important. The best way to do that is to make investments in your life so that you can have an effect on who you are in your later years.
I did this by traveling. Not for the sake of being a tourist, but to discover the beauty of life — to remember that I am not complete.
There is nothing like riding a bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge or seeing the Coliseum at sunset. I wish I could paint a picture for you of how incredible the Guatemalan mountains are or what a rush it is to appear on Italian TV. Even the amazing photographs I have of Niagara Falls and the American Midwest countryside do not do these experiences justice. I can’t tell you how beautiful southern Spain is from the vantage point of a train; you have to experience it yourself. The only way you can relate is by seeing them.
While you’re young, you should travel. You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. Spend an afternoon sitting in front of the Michelangelo. Walk the streets of Paris. Climb Kilimanjaro. Hike the Appalachian Trail. See the Great Wall of China. Get your heart broken by the “killing fields” of Cambodia. Swim through the Great Barrier Reef. These are the moments that define the rest of your life; they’re the experiences that stick with you forever.
Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you. You will begin to understand that the world is both very large and very small. You will have a newfound respect for pain and suffering, having seen that two-thirds of humanity struggle to simply get a meal each day.
While you’re still young, get cultured. Get to know the world and the magnificent people that fill it. The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it.
You won’t always be young. And life won’t always be just about you. So travel, young person. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion. While you still can.
Do not squander this time. You will never have it again. You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap. The habits you form in this season will stick with you for the rest of your life. So choose those habits wisely.
And if you’re not as young as you’d like (few of us are), travel anyway. It may not be easy or practical, but it’s worth it. Traveling allows you to feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way, like little else can. In other words, it makes you more human.
That’s what it did for me, anyway.” (Taken from “Why You Should Travel Young” by Jeff Goins in here.)
For me, travelling means setting off for strange places. This is going to be my first time going abroad. Leaving Indonesia for the first time and being a stranger in a very very very strange places and people. Not only the opportunities to study abroad or add many Facebook albums but also opportunities to learn their cultures and vice versa, to mingle in the middle of European people (especially the Portuguese), to realize the greatness of Allah who makes all of these differences –these works of art that make our life so colorful, and an opportunity to really know who I am. Then, travelling will make me find home, the beautiful world that has been created by Allah SWT.
That’s what it will do for me, anyway. Wish me luck 😉
With bunches of loves from Solo,